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Energy review cuts decision time

The long awaited Energy Review has concluded with a promise to cut the time taken to make decisions on controversial projects.

With the Government lambasted over the amount of time taken to decide on projects such as the energy from waste facility at Belvedere- which took seven years - fundamental changes have now been made to the planning system.

These pertain to all types of energy projects, with timelines given for inquiries and the appointment of a high-powered inspector for complex and controversial projects.

Trade and industry secretary Alistair Darling said: “This is a critical moment to make informed choices to safeguard our quality of life for the coming decades. Today’s proposals will set out a framework within which the energy market will operate for the coming 30 to 40 years.”

With the Institution of Civil Engineers estimating that the UK needs between 1,500 and 2,300 new facilities to deal with its waste, the proposal means that at least planners will have a timescale for decisions on projects.

Veolia Environmental Services chief executive for the UK and northern Europe Cyrille du Peloux said: “The energy and waste industries both face the necessity for change, and they have the potential to learn from one another, to co-operate and indeed to collaborate in meeting infrastructural challenges that lie ahead.

“It is of crucial importance that Government delivers a policy framework that allows these two industries to partner in the most environmentally and economically beneficial ways.”

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